Signing a traffic ticket is a promise to appear in court. If you don’t pay your fine prior to the court date or get the court date moved by the court in advance, you must appear in court. Failure to appear in court could result in penalties including a bench warrant for your arrest. If you think you might have trouble appearing on your scheduled court date, contact a Georgia traffic court lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
If I miss my court date, can I just pay the fine?
No, once you have failed to appear in court you lose the option to pay the fine by mail, online, over the phone, or in-person prior to your next court date. You must appear before a judge once a failure to appear has been entered.
What are the consequences for failing to appear in court?
The court may impose a fine of several hundred dollars, and if you were due to appear because of multiple traffic infractions, separate fines could be imposed for each infraction. If you are able to show good cause for not appearing, the judge may waive this penalty.
Georgia law also mandates that your license must be suspended if you fail to appear in court on traffic violations. To have your license reinstated, you will need to get a letter from the court stating that your violations were taken care of and then bring the letter to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to apply for reinstatement.
Most importantly, a bench warrant will likely be issued for your arrest. You then run the risk of being taken to jail immediately if you are stopped by the police again or if they check your license for some other reason.
What should I do if I missed a court date?
Try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. In addition to the threat of arrest, you also risk losing your job or not being able to obtain employment due to not having a valid driver’s license. Contact a GA lawyer for missed court dates or failure to appear by calling or contacting Attorney Mike Hawkins at 404-933-1153 to discuss your best course of action, the consultation is free and we may be able to help you reduce the penalties for missing your court date.